My dad called me this past Sunday. That alone wasn’t unexpected. He and my mom often call on Sundays. In fact I’m a little shocked when they don’t call on Sundays. Sundays are our time to catch up.
So, when they called, I figured any number of things might be on the agenda, including but not limited to: did we go to church, how’s the family doing, was it cold in Colorado and what did I think about the NFL games that were on the TV?
I think we talked about those things, but quite frankly, I can’t remember because dear old dad dropped a bombshell on me.
“I’ve accepted a job,” he said.
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I won’t lie. There was a long, long pause on my end of the line, then a giggle, followed by a belated response.
“No, really?” I finally said.
“Really,” he said. “I start Tuesday.”
Let me give some backstory. My dad is my hero. Maybe, briefly, as a kid, I held a brighter light up to Larry Bird and Roger Staubach. Sure, I cried and got in fistfights and wanted to throw up when their teams lost. But that was kid stuff and when I became a man I put away such childish things (just ask my wife if I don’t weep when my favorite teams lose these days).
But dad, yeah, dear old dad, that guy that’s already cast an unimaginably long shadow that my brothers and I have even quit trying to step out from under, yeah, that guy. He’s taken another job at 81. Just in case you’re wondering, that’s not a typo — eighty-one years old. An octogenarian. Correction—a working octogenarian.